Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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New Directors for Health and Human Services

The three directors have a total of 65 years of experience at San Diego State University.
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Three of the five schools within San Diego State’s College of Health and Human Services are beginning the academic year with new directors in place.


Richard Gersberg takes the helm at the Graduate School of Public Health; Lew Shapiro leads the School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; and Melinda (Mindy) Hohman directs the School of Social Work.

Richard Gersberg

 Richard Gersberg
A professor of environmental health, Gersberg specializes in water quality research and limnology, and has broad experience working with both chemical and microbiological pollutants and risk assessments.

Considered a pioneer in the field of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment, he was scientific director of an Environmental Protection Agency-funded project on the use of constructed wetlands in Southern California.

Gersberg also served as technical consultant on aquatic and human health risk issues in impaired waters worldwide, including the Venice Lagoon in Italy; the Straits of Juan de Fuca in Victoria, Canada; the Tijuana River Watershed in Mexico; the Elbe River in Germany; and several waters in California, including the San Francisco Bay Delta, Newport Bay, San Diego Bay, and Santa Monica Bay.

With a master’s degree in biology from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis, Gersberg joined SDSU in 1986.

Lew Shapiro
Lew Shapiro

Shapiro’s areas of expertise include the linguistic, cognitive, and neuroscience underpinnings of language processing. His work—continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1988—often focuses on clinical populations, including adult stroke survivors with aphasia and children diagnosed with language disorders. He has mapped brain-language relations through lesion analyses and brain imaging.

Shapiro co-directs San Diego State University’s Language and Neuroscience Group Laboratory, where doctoral, masters and undergraduate students are mentored by SDSU faculty. He is also a member of the university’s Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience area of research excellence.

He joined SDSU in 1995 with a master’s degree from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.

Mindy Hohman
Mindy Hohman

Hohman teaches courses on substance abuse treatment, motivational interviewing and social work practice, including motivational interviewing. As undergraduate program coordinator for the School of Social Work since 1998, she developed the community corrections case management specialty.

Her research interests include scale development and substance abuse assessment and treatment services, particularly with women in the child welfare system and with DUI offenders.

She has been a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 1999 and has trained community social workers, child welfare workers, probation officers, and addiction counselors in motivational interviewing across California and other western states.

Hohman received her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D from Arizona State University. She joined SDSU in 1995.

About the College of Health and Human Services

The college enrolls about 5,000 students and is also home to the School of Nursing and the School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.